Random House's Big Holiday Bonus, Charles Simic's Love for Buster Keaton, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

At its corporate holiday party this week, all Random House employees—from top editors to warehouse workers—were informed they'd receive a five thousand dollar bonus on their next paychecks to celebrate a profitable year. (New York Times)

Citing a study from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the New York Daily News reports e-readers and e-book providers may be "sharing user information without consent."

"Take, for instance, this glowing praise from Amanda Keeling, author of Princess Story, Sheryl Reynolds, author of Free Admission, Stemphanie (no, that's not a typo) Lambert, 'New York Times Best Selling Author,' and Gene Sidow, author of Max Freeshot. Just one problem: I could find no evidence that either the authors or their books exist." On the Writer Beware blog, Victoria Strauss discovered a new publicity firm's claims were far removed from reality.

The Brontë sisters published as the Bell brothers; James Tiptree, Jr. is actually Alice Sheldon, Joanne Kathleen Rowling chose to use initials instead of her name—the Wall Street Journal looks at why writers still feel compelled by market forces to use a nom de plume of another gender.

The Paris Review Daily showcases an artifact discovered in a junk shop in Upstate New York—a playbill for a Princeton University student production of The Evil Eye: A Musical Comedy in Two Acts, with “Book by Edmund Wilson, Jr., 1916,” and “Lyrics by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1917."

Poet Charles Simic reveals his love for screen legend Buster Keaton, and how a chance encounter while strolling down Broadway altered film history. (New York Review of Book)

Yesterday, city officials in Los Angeles renamed a downtown intersection Ray Bradbury Square. With the late author's family in attendance, Steven Paul Leiva told fans the place could also be called the "intersection of imagination and inspiration." (Los Angeles Times)